Mayor Foster issues sloppy response to Pier renovation estimate — and VOTP fires back

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Mayor Bill Foster again used his sometimes-weekly Weekly Forecast email last Friday to lob a fourth round of propaganda at the VoteOnThePier.com group, this time in the form of a critique of the Archer Western proposal to remodel the inverted pyramid building and rebuild the pier approach.

Today, VoteOnThePier.com fired back with a well written response to the city’s critique of the estimate, which amounted to them trying to educate the city on the details of which elements from the estimate would be included, why they were included, and why the second largest bridge builder in the country doesn’t need to be told it isn’t charging enough money for concrete.

The response addresses every point of the city’s critique, sometimes with stinging critiques of it’s own toward the city, which clearly only put out the quickly-written critique to try to cover it’s bases as a way to dismiss the Archer Western pier renovation proposal since the opposition to the Lens design only appears to be growing and not diminishing as the city had hoped.

First Public Input Forum

At the first Public Input Session held last week, the city presented the same inaccurate depictions of the Lens pier with all of the optional features that won’t be included, like the towers, reef, docent theater and so on. As the majority of people came forward to speak about how they didn’t want the Lens design for one reason or another, Council-chair Leslie Curran stated that the Lens design had been decided upon, and that people would only be allowed to speak about the Lens at the next public input meetings. It looks like according to the Mayor’s Friday email, only people with “programming ideas about our new Pier” will be welcome at the rest of these “public input” meetings. So when the majority of the public input isn’t to the Mayor’s liking, just prevent the opposition from attending. Way to be open to public input there Mr. Mayor.

Also in pier referendum news today, several news organizations pointed out that the Mayor’s made-up pier petition deadline means nothing because he can’t legally set restrictions on petition drives, since those are governed by the state and county only.

Yet again, the Mayor ends up as the loser of this round. At some point you would hope that he and council will eventually get it, and let the people vote.

Cross-posted with permission of Bob Wilson of the Bill Foster Watch.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.